Failure of Registrants To Report Address Changes Would Diminish Fairness of Induction Processing

FPCD-82-45: Published: Sep 24, 1982. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the currency of registrant mailing addresses kept by the Selective Service System, which are necessary to ensure the prompt delivery of induction notices and vital to both the equity and effectiveness of a draft.

GAO found that about 85 percent of the persons who moved after registering in 1980 did not notify the Service of their mailing address changes. As a result, address information for between one-fifth and two-fifths of the registrants in the prime induction group could be outdated and, at the end of the 8-year period of draft eligibility, almost three-fourths of the addresses could be outdated. GAO concluded that many registrants are apparently not aware of the requirement to report mailing address changes and that there appears to be confusion about the distinction between the current mailing address and the permanent address. As a result, the equity of the system is decreased.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Director of the Selective Service System should modify the registration acknowledgement letter to more prominently state the penalties for not promptly reporting change-of-address information and to explain the distinction between the current mailing address and the permanent address.

    Agency Affected: Selective Service System

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Director of the Selective Service System should require a random sample of registrants to furnish their current mailing addresses to test the effectiveness of acknowledgement and verification letters in improving the completeness of address change reporting.

    Agency Affected: Selective Service System

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Selective Service System is now sending periodic verification letters to registrants in order to insure that address files are up to date. The Selective Service believes that this action will substantially improve address information and, thus, do not plan to propose a change in the registration age requirement.

    Recommendation: The Director of the Selective Service System should, if address information is not substantially improved by October 1984, propose Presidential proclamation language changing the registration requirement from age 18 to 3 to 6 months prior to the year of prime draft susceptibility.

    Agency Affected: Selective Service System

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Director of the Selective Service System should determine whether arrangements can be made with the Postal Service for special handling of induction notices that can be sent to forwarding addresses.

    Agency Affected: Selective Service System

 

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